In Roddy Doyle's hands, everyday conversation flows like music. The pages of A Greyhound of a Girl are alive and crisp with dialog. Perhaps eighty percent of the story is told through the communication between generations - from mother to child, grandmother to granddaughter - and the lines of speech develop a unique harmony and rhythm as phrases are repeated and passed back and forth. For example in the following scene, twelve year-old Mary tells her mother about her plans to become a famous chef:
"Great idea!" said her mother.
"Stop talking like that," said Mary.
"Oh, no!" said her mother, whose name was Scarlett. "I don't talk like that! Do I?!"
"Yes, you do."
"I'm sorry!" Scarlett whispered.
"Even your whispers end in !!!s," Mary whispered back.
There is a tenderness in these exchanges, ...
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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